This afternoon, I called mom at the beginning of my workday. I had just arrived, and I was doing the preliminary walkabout with my feline coworkers, so I had a quiet moment to talk with mom. After the usual discussion of family news, my mom asked me what I thought about the situation in the Crimea. I confessed that I was stymied, and merely expressed a desire that violence can be averted. Khrushchev felt an affinity with the Ukraine and transferred the Crimea from the Russian republic to the Ukraine, and there seems to be considerable intermarriage between the two populations. The Crimean Tatars, forcibly relocated elsewhere by Stalin, are understandably apprehensive at the prospect of a crackdown. Hell, I just hope they can avoid ethnic cleansing, and immediately a line from the Clash's Cold War plea The Call Up leapt to my mind:
Maybe I wanna see the wheat fields over Kiev and down to the sea
The song itself, sung in a plaintive growl by the late, lamented Joe Strummer, is a plea to the better angels of the youths who would be called upon to slaughter each other in a clash between the USSR and the West:
It's up to you not to heed the call-up
'N' you must not act the way you were brought up
Who knows the reasons why you have grown up?
Who knows the plans or why they were drawn up?
The song also excoriates the policymakers who have always sent them of to the meatgrinder:
All the young people down the ages
They gladly marched off to die
Proud city fathers used to watch them
Tears in their eyes.
I have no answers to the growing tensions in the Black Sea region, and I feel that the U.S., having decided upon a policy of pre-emptive war, has no moral standing in this conflict. I just hope that our diplomatic corp is working like hell to ensure that our response doesn't devolve into gunboat diplomacy. I'm not optimistic, though.
Joe, Joe, Joe, you left the world too young. We need you more than ever now: